I just looked at the Anchorage Daily News website and the smoke is from fires in the interior. The article said it is expected that the smoke will remain for several days until they start having some rain. We are heading to Anchorage on August 28th hopefully the smoke will have cleared by then. I guess I had better start praying for rain for the area.
We were visiting Juneau (not a cruise) and could see the fires when flying in (wow, are those some stunning views!) and they were certainly not too close to Juneau but we did have the hazy skies. This was about a month ago and I didn't realize the fires were still going on.
We just got back and I think smoke is a very good description of the conditions. Southeast really wasn't affected but the interior became an issue. Denali on 8/14-8/15 was beautiful and clear. That night, however, the smoke descended and it was difficult to breath. This was not just smoggy. Can't imagine Fairbanks. 8/16 we drove back to Anchorage to escape and the views of the trees along the Park Hwy were hazy and even the nearby mountains disappeared. In the Wasilla/Palmer area, it started to break and you could see grey skies on one side and blue to the other. Even the blue was not the crisp blue that we had grown accustomed to. 8/17 in Anchorage was pretty smoky as you looked across the water. It didn't affect our LA-lungs but we saw others with surgical masks. They predicted it would stay that way for a while. Apparently a smaller fire had broken out between Denali and Anchorage, so that was adding to the mix. 8/18 we decided to go down to the Kenai to get back to good air.
In related news, a block on Front Street in Juneau had a large fire that took out the stores and restaurants (including a Chinese restaurant as a point of reference) on the block. I had just visited the area a few days prior.
The fire in Juneau was just a day. The fires in the interior have been burning for months. Fairbanks area being the worse for smoke. When we got back, our entire suitcase and clothes smelled of smoke. Yet, while we were there we weren't bothered by the smoke. Many people had face masks and were complaining. They don't get much rain, and rain is needy desperately. We went to the University of Alaska's Museum in Fairbanks, and were standing outside when the train went through across the street......and with the smoke, we couldn't see the train. Inside passage shouldn't be affected too much. Have a great time, we did.
The day fire that the above post is referring to was not a forest fire, but an accident resulting from construction. Earlier in the summer, Juneau was getting smoke from fires in Canada. It seems that those have died down, while the fires north of Fairbanks keep burning.
Just returned 2 days ago from cruisetour. It was really smokey around Fairbanks and of course this was due to , according to our guide, the worst fire season ever. In the mornings it was like light haze but as the day progressed (and the fires started up again) it would get really thick, so much so it was hard to see. And yes, it did smell like smoke. We traveled from Fairbanks to Tok and it was bad all the way. Then we went from Tok to Eagle and there were fires burning right off the road.
However, by the time you got further South to the port cities, the smoke was completely gone and it was not a problem at all.